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UTHealth establishes Office of Academic Ombuds

September 04, 2019
Michael Blackburn, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, and GSBS Dean

During the past year, faculty, department chairs, deans, and senior leadership identified ombudsman services as a critical need for the success of our academic environment at UTHealth. I am pleased to announce the opening of the UTHealth Office of Academic Ombuds, which, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, will serve as a confidential, informal, independent, and neutral place for members of our academic community to discuss concerns, resolve disputes, manage conflicts, and increase skills regarding communication, negotiation, and problem-solving. The Office of Academic Ombuds will also serve as a point of contact for directing students (including GSBS students working in MD Anderson or UTHealth labs), residents, fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to appropriate campus information, resources, and offices. 

Robin Dickey, PhD, MA, LPC, will be expanding her current activities as faculty assistance specialist to serve as the academic ombuds, and in this role will report to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer. Dickey received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Arlington, master’s degree in professional counseling from Texas Wesleyan University, and PhD in integrative medicine and health sciences from Saybrook University. Dickey joined UTHealth in 2016 as the faculty assistance specialist within the UTHealth Faculty Assistance Program. Dickey is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and practices according to the IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

The UTHealth Office of Academic Ombuds is located at University Center Tower, 7000 Fannin, Suite 165-A. For more information, please visit, call 713-500-3457, or email

MD Anderson also has an Ombuds Office that can help faculty, classified and administrative staff, trainees, postdocs, and GSBS students (those based at UTHealth and MD Anderson labs) with work-related questions or concerns. This office can be reached at 713-792-4896 or

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